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Blog Comments posted by Hawksmoor

  1. Sorry to hear about your fall but glad nothing too serious as a result. We have both had a couple of unexplained falls guess in our case it's old age coming upon us. Some time ago our kids made me promise I would not be going up ladders anymore but as they all live some way away its not always possible to avoid minor maintenance issues above head height - anyway what they don't know they don't grieve over.:happy7:

    Hope you're feeling better soon and back out under the stars in the observatory. I'm currently awaiting images from the autonomous robotic telescope on mount Teide. I've programmed it to take some snaps of Quasars. I had a fancy to capture some photons older than the Earth.

    All the best for a full recovery George

    • Like 1
  2. 5 hours ago, JimT said:

    Very nice George, pity about the Yarmouth glow, I doubt if the midnight shutoff would have helped. Funnily enough today the wife mentioned a cruise to take in the Northern Light, have to think on that one  :).

    We went on an astro trip to Tromso a couple of years ago very enjoyable. The aurora was stunning. We are off to Iceland for a few days this year, so hope the solar activity doesn't' fall away before we get there.

    Is your new observatory and kit all up and running yet?

    Best regards George

  3. 15 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:



    Hi Guys

    Not my workplace

    View from front of my house

    Have dark clear skies most nights of the year, with minimal light pollution  

    Club is also hosting star party International Observe the Moon Night 28th October




    Sorry John about confusing the view from your home and workplace. It was late when I read your comment and I had just driven 200 miles from Sheffield to Lowestoft. Soon as I pressed the submit button I realised I had made a mistake. Old age is taking its toll!

    I very much envy the clear skies and minimal light pollution (clear skies over Lowestoft is an event rather than a given) and I hope the Club's hosting International 'Observe the Moon Night' on 28th October goes well.

    Best regards from George in a currently overcast Lowestoft.

  4. 22 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

    Captured the attached morning of the 6th on my Android phone as leaving for work

    Full moon setting around 4-30am over the ranges adjacent to my home Goldcoast Hinterland 

    Moon setting over Tamborine.jpg

    Thanks for the comment and image. Must say you have a much improved view of the horizon from your workplace than I get from our backyard but as I 'm retired I have the benefit of not having to juggle astronomy with working for a living.

    Best regards from George in Lowestoft on the East Anglian Coast

    • Like 1
  5. On 07/10/2017 at 16:26, JimT said:

    Nice one George, was tempted to go out the other night, a nice crisp night but too much moonlight. 


    Hi Jim nice to hear from you. The night got better as time went by after midnight. I tried to image Neptune early on and the atmosphere was much more lively. The detailed image of Mare Crisium was taken before the two pane image of the whole moon and suffered from too many thermal air cells wobbling about. The atmosphere had calmed down by the time I fired up the 66mm Refractor. I have to say I'm quite pleased with the performance of the little Altair Astro scope. When you compare the cost  and performance with a comparative Canon Lens it wins hands down in the value for money stakes.

    Best regards George

    • Like 1
  6. 5 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

    When the sun is low, you get a green-blue  belt above the horizon, presumably the moon makes the same effect but much fainter, and perhaps that's what you picked up?

    Sounds likely as the moon was directly behind me and very bright. Thanks for your comment and explanation. I guess I will have to wait a little longer to see the Aurora from Suffolk. 

    Best regards George


  7. 6 hours ago, JoeP said:

    There wasn't any activity last night, unfortunately. I did notice a green glow on the horizon, but I think it was centered around where the sun had just set, and not north. I would have thought it was just a cloud scattering light in a weird way.

    Real difficult to know with atmospheric stuff. The posted image was taken at about 2.00 am on 10th Sept looking NNE. so I would  have thought the sun would have been well below the horizon and much further west in September.  However, on balance both my partner and I were a bit sceptical about the 'auroral glow'. Trouble is when you want to see something you often do. :happy6:

    Thanks for your comment much appreciated

  8. 43 minutes ago, tooth_dr said:

    Hi George

    Fantastic job with the pier, it looks really well suited to the beautiful garden surroundings. I can relate to your grandchildren scenario, we present up to 10 to my dads house, though not normally all the same time! That pier will certainly not move too far even if a football or two get kicked against it.




    Thanks for your kind comment Adam. Yes I think it is probably football proof but we have been known to underestimate what our grand children can achieve when left to their own devices. Good job we love them.:happy11:

    Regards George

    • Like 1
  9. On 06/05/2017 at 14:22, JimRymer said:

    Looks like its going to be a fantastic set up, well done. Your far more handy than I could ever manage to be! What scope are you going to use ? I am in Norfolk, and often get out to Lowestoft the sky there is special good viewing and clear skies. regards Jim 

    Sorry I have not replied before but I have only just noticed your kind comment.  I  have a Meade 127mm. Apo Refractor which I have used recently to image Jupiter and Comet Johnson using my new pillar mount.  It works quite nicely and  makes using my scope a lot easier. I also have nine young grandchildren who come and play in my backyard so my old tripod used to get nudged and moved on a regular basis requiring polar realignment every time.

    I have a smaller mobile set up- imaging rig and  take it down to the Lowestoft Fish Labs carpark on Pakefield cliffs.  Its a great location for catching images of horizon hugging objects (excellent for early morning images of comets , Mercury and Venus).

    Best regards George

  10. 10 hours ago, Davey-T said:

    That title confused me, was expecting this





    I'm more than little bit daft!:happy7:

    Thanks for your comment, over the years. I've come to recognise blog writing as a publicised conversation with myself.

    regards from the seaside

  11. 44 minutes ago, andrew s said:

    George you need to keep the grating square to the incident light (i.e. the telescope) and then angle the camera to the first order diffraction angle as in your Mk3. 

    Regards Andrew

    Thanks for the information Andrew.  I did think this was likely and hence the reason why the Mk3 was in the planning stage.  Once Christmas is done and dusted I will move into the production stage. The Mk2 will work with the 100 lines grating (the camera has a reasonably large chip) but will not work with the 500 lines grating as  displacement of the first order spectrum will be too large.

    Thank you for your kind advice.

    Regards George

  12. 7 hours ago, andrew s said:

    Nice job looking forward to seeing the results.

    Is the grating blazed? If it is it would be worth angling the camera to center the first order. 

    This is what I have done on my fiber fed low resolution spectrograph. It has extra lenses as the grating is in a collimated beam it also does not need to be attached to the telescope.

    Regards Andrew


    Very low res.jpg

    Great looking piece of kit. Quite envious. :happy7:

    I have two different gratings -100 and 500 lines- I think both are blazed and certainly the 500 line is! I have made it possible to angle the grating rather than the connection to the scope. Not sure this will work with a grating. It does with a prism.  I calculated the necessary angles and grating to imaging chip dimensions to accommodate centring the spectrum for both gratings. Have not been able to test whether this works, as have had a number of friends staying with us and did not wish to abandon them after dark (bit antisocial even for a nerd like me!).  If this rig does not work my mark3 spectrometer (in the design stage) will involve angling the camera. Thanks for the advice and sharing the image of your set up.

    best regards George

  13. 2 hours ago, spaceman_spiff said:

    I was thinking of using a bank of LEDs behind layers of frosted plastic but just not got round to it yet. It would be significantly brighter than a laptop screen. As for the laptop I have to balance it on a bunch of boxes to get it to the height of the scope. I then have to press the scope against the screen to make sure no other light enters. This has lead to a number of near misses (I normally catch the laptop before impact)! 

    I used 3 LED strips from Maplins. They have integrated resistors and a self adhesive backing, so easy to cut, fit and wire. Have tried my light box with an Eos lens on my Canon Dslr. Seems to work OK but until I try with my scopes under the night sky the jury is out.

    Hope your light box build goes well!



  14. On 07/07/2016 at 14:38, spaceman_spiff said:

    Very nice Hawksmoor!

    This may be an effect of the image but the light box looks a little dimmer near the edges than in the centre. I have been thinking of improving my flats and may make a light box of my own soon. I used to take my flats from a cloudy daytime sky, but the clouds were just not uniform enough! Damn british weather - even when I want the clouds, they ruin my pictures! :happy72: Nowadays I use a laptop monitor screen.


    Hi Dan

    You might be right re the illumination. Have not used yet as weather over Lowestoft has been terrible. I also was  too mean to part with the cash for a piece of white opal acrylic. Instead I utilised a sheet of 0.5mm. Plasticard which I had to hand. Probably a mistake that will cost a pound or two to rectify.  

    I too used to use a lap top screen for flats but as I'm getting on a bit and sometimes a little dizzy, was concerned that I would drop it!  Dells are not renowned for their bounce.

    Best regards George

  15. Thanks for your kind comment Robin. I had removed the lens and infra red filter. Was not sure whether an IR pass filter was required as for unblurred planetary capture? More by trial and error I set up the camera at the right distance from the grating. Have not had much free time in the last week but did manage to try it out on my 66mm. Altair Astro Starwave refractor. Just on a photo tripod managed blurry zero and first order spectra of Jupiter on the small chip. Used Jupiter as brightest thing in the sky. Given the time and a clear night I will try it out on a bright star and with my equatorial mounted 127mm.apo.

    I have visited your threehills internet site, a great resource and extremely Inspirational to beginners like me. 

    I hope you were not offended by my nonsense name for my DIY device. It does have some unintended similarity to the name of a proper piece of professional kit. Please accept my apologies.

     I have always had a weakness for self mockery and the 'throtch' concept is a family joke developed in my undergraduate days at Manchester University in the late 1960s.  It is a made up collective noun for technically difficult and poorly understood methodologies and technologies.  You have probably guessed I have arts rather than scientific qualifications.

    Best regards George


  16. 11 hours ago, PaulB said:

    I  had a "Senior" moment like that a few weeks ago.

    I  was searching high and low, for the keys to my obsy. Only to realise,  I had already opened it up !

    Those two images look very good. And. You've done very well to see stars.



    Thanks for your kind words re-images. The weather since has precluded any stargazing from Lowestoft so I'm sitting by the fire with my feet-up.

  17. Nice report.   So far I have been unsuccessful in seeing the comet with my 15X70s.   I may have been looking right at it but again last night I could not find it.  Perhaps it is my light polluted sky that is preventing me from getting enough contrast to see it.


    Thanks for your report.



    Thanks for taking the time to read my report and comment.  Have to say the comet is quite small and faint.  The skies over our house are quite dark after the street lights go out but it was still quite difficult to find it through my Altair Astro Lightwave 66mm scope which I have been using to photograph it.  So if your sky is light polluted you would struggle to find this comet.


    Catalina enlargement



  18. Just seen this - I've wanted to go to Les Granges for ages and want to go even more now! One of our society's members has been and thoroughly recommends it. Hawskmoor - we're actually quite close to you in SW Norfolk.

    Hi and thanks for your comment.

    My wife and I used to be members of Breckland Astro Society. We very much enjoyed the monthly talks but in winter it was a bit of a trek from Lowestoft - so let memberships lapse.  Les Granges was excellent all round, so very happy to recommend it!   best regards from Anita and George Roberts aka Hawksmoor

  19. I'm currently in lanzarote and it's amazing how high in the sky saggitarius and Scorpio are.I could pick m6 and m7 up easily with bins and see the star clouds with naked eye.

    Sounds Brilliant!  Never been to Lanzarote but some ten years ago I enjoyed the stars in Sagitarius from Teneriffe and Fuertaventura.  Am looking forward to a week at Les Granges with Olly Penrice in October. Will be good to look at treats which are near or below my southern horizon.  Hope you enjoy your holiday and thanks for your comment.

  20. For the small extra your son should have talked you into the 72mm, but those 66mm scopes are very convenient.

    Where about in Northumberland?

    Going to drop into Keilder ?

    Walking along bits of Hadrian's Wall from the west with grandchildren. Might get to visit Keilder Observatory but not in charge of itinerary. Didn't go for the 72mm as 66mm had wider field of view, plus less weight and cost . Have to say it was a bit of an impulse buy during a particularly expensive month!  I think I got away with it! 


    Thanks for your comment

  21. I'm also part of the 'push it and see what happens club'!

    usually something stops working or has unintended and often expensive consequences.

    I'm trying to grow out of that habit and read manuals a bit more often.

    It's not going very well.

    The manuals generally help, so does reading what  'skilled and experienced' members on the lounge have to say on many and various subjects, but I find I have also learned  much by trial and error.  Its a lot slower process and punctuated by mini-disasters but generally exciting!  Thanks for the comment!

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